Thursday, October 04, 2007

Help Wanted

A couple of days ago, I ripped the Wolves for trading Trenton Hassel for Greg Buckner, and things got a little testy in the comments section. The facts that I presented surrounding Buckner's contract were questioned, and to be fair, those details make all the difference. If the Wolves did indeed trade Hassell for a player whose contract they can dump a year earlier, power to them, even if he is three years older.

For the record, I got my info from, where they list nba salaries and contracts. They claim that Buckner's contract goes a year longer than Hassell's and that it's the player's option. On the other hand, Patricia Bender's excellent site seems to indicate the the contracts end the same year, and that Buckner's has a team option, which is a critical difference.

I'm going to assume that Bender's site (and the contract info reported by the PiPress) is correct, because otherwise, the trade would either be overwhelmingly stupid or... well, maybe something even be uglier. The fact that Buckner is $750,000 cheaper for this year can't help but make me wonder - was this done to save some nickels and dimes for this year?

Of course, the problem is that I can't get a straight answer on any of the questions that naturally arise, like "What is the Wolves salary level this year?" I can tell you that the NBA salary cap is at $55.63M, and that if I add up the salaries from's Wolves roster, it equals $55.16M. Which makes it looks like Hassell's salary would have put them over the cap, resulting in a luxury tax. But I don't know if all that money on that page really counts against the cap, or if more than that counts against the cap, or what.

The same problem existed tonight when I wanted to talk about the Wild and their season opener. The Wild look like a team that Twins fans should enjoy, given their philosophy of buuilding a young core of talent in the minors and slowly integrating them into the NHL for an extended run of success.

But is all this talk of young talent a bunch of hooey? Are they rated highly by national publications? The first two links returned from a Google search of "top NHL minor league prospects" were links to baseball prospects. The next link looks promising - for those willing to pay $12/month. Another site has two Wild prospects in the top 50, but one is the new backup goalie and the other is #47 and was a little dissappointing last year. However, they're ranked as having the 7th best minors in the NHL. Of course, this is all by the same (and totally unknown to me) source.

It isn't clear that these sports have found the intersection of entertainment and information that baseball has. But I'm determined to start putting some of these together so we have more to go by than corporate media.

So I'm asking for help. If you have some favorite sites for basketball, football or hockey, even if they're super wonkish and geeky, please let me know about them in the comments below. And while your at it, if you see any MN professional sports blogs or news that aren't included in our feeds on, by all mean let me know.

Don't worry, we'll get back to baseball soon. It's still my passion. But as we move through baseball's offseason, I'll also try to use these new links to get a level deeper into some of these other sports, too.



Anonymous said...

also take into account that Buckner has a trade assignment bonus in his contract for over $500,000;due from the acquiring team unless the parties agree otherwise.Also Buckner only preserves his option if he has not been waived before that 10-11 season.

David Wintheiser said...

Not to pile on, Geek, but...

Which makes it looks like Hassell's salary would have put them over the cap, resulting in a luxury tax.

This is a common misconception -- the luxury tax level is not the same as the salary cap level. Both the salary cap and the luxury tax level are set based on league projections of basketball-related income (BRI), but the cap is set at 51% of adjusted BRI, while the luxury tax level is set at 61% of adjusted BRI.

For 2007-2008, this means that the cap is $55.63 million, while the luxury tax isn't triggered until payroll hits $67.865 million. (Last year, the Wolves paid $1 million in luxury tax.)

All of this info comes from the NBA Salary Cap FAQ (

David Wintheiser

John said...

Thanks David. They also have a big explanation of of it on Wikipedia that I mean to read. I hope this means that Buckner's contract is not as reported.

Anonymous said...

John these are some hockey links

Also can't beat

Thank you for your continued efforts. A hockey section would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

should be minnesotawarroom at the end of the

Anonymous said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in English Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!
All there is all that money in the premiership and barely any of it stays in the UK so it’s not even helping the economy!
From my Spread Betting, if I ever win big (which is never, I’m unlucky) it’s still nothing compared to the average premiership players weekly wage!
This Rant was brought to you by Spread Betting Spike.